Published On: Sun, Aug 21st, 2016

British runner addresses rule change after 'emotional' loss to Semenya

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Lynsey Sharp wasn’t willing to blame her sixth-place finish in the women’s 800m final on the rule change that allowed Caster Semenya to compete in the race.

However, the British Olympian was inevitably asked about the decision, which allows hyperandrogenic athletes such as Semenya – who easily streaked past opponents in the back straight to win gold Saturday – to compete in the race.

“I have tried to avoid the issue all year,” Sharp admitted to reporters. “You can see how emotional it all was. We know how each other feels. It is out of our control and how much we rely on people at the top sorting it out. The public can see how difficult it is with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best.”

Semenya’s participation was made possible by the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to overturn an International Association of Athletics Federations’ rule requiring athletes with high levels of testosterone to take a pill designed to suppress hormones.

A day after failing to land on the podium, Sharp was still in high spirits, celebrating her personal best time in the 800m – and a new Scottish record.

“…To run faster than I ever have before in the Olympic final is the best I could do,” Sharp said in a message to her Twitter followers Sunday. “I’ve come a long way in the past four year. I’ incredibly proud of that.”

Despite the outcry from those critical of the decision allowing Semenya to compete, Sharp described the close relationship she has with the South African.

“I have tremendous respect for Caster. She is some I talk to regularly on the circuit. I have known and competed against her since 2008. Media and politics should not distract from her performance.”

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